Sunday Papers Roundup
The co-founder of iconic ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s has never been conventional. He famously formed the company with Ben Cohen in a dilapidated petrol station in Burlington, Vermont, in 1978 with the goal of creating a business where the economic, product and social mission were equal. He and Cohen later fell out with the management of the company over its 2000 sale to Unilever and took a separate office in the town...
Mike Shearwood, the Karen Millen boss, has stepped down from the board of Aurora Fashions, pushing the high street clothing group closer to a break-up and sale of its brands. Aurora owns some of Britain’s biggest high street fashion chains including Oasis, Coast and Warehouse. Karen Millen has already been split off from the group and Mr Shearwood’s exit from Aurora could allow him to launch a management buy-out of the women’s clothing brand
Wasabi, the Asian fast food chain that operates 37 outlets across central London, saw profits fall last year as it expanded across the capital and opened its first restaurant in New York. The Japanese-style chain said that pre-tax profits were £480,557 for the 16 months to December 31 2013, against a pre-tax profit of £2.84m in 2012, according to accounts recently filed at Companies House.
Three of Britain’s biggest retailers will unveil a slump in Christmas sales this week, laying bare the pressure on the grocery industry and the high street. Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer are all expected to report sluggish festive figures, with the supermarkets suffering from falling food sales and M&S struggling to turn around its clothing business. The scale of the sales slump for supermarkets will be unprecedented in recent times, with Morrisons and Asda also likely to have suffered a fall in sales.
Britain’s biggest companies will be forced to reveal every three months how long they are taking to pay suppliers and whether they have changed their terms under a government plan to crack down on bullying in the supply chain. There is growing pressure to stop big businesses and retailers squeezing their supply chains after it emerged that Premier Foods, the owner of Mr Kipling cakes, demanded fees from suppliers to continue doing business with them. Payments from suppliers were also at the centre of Tesco’s £263m accounting scandal.
Dave Lewis, the new boss of Tesco, is this week expected to throw the grocery industry into fresh turmoil by radically changing the way the chain works with suppliers — and will give the strongest signal yet that it is set for its first UK trading loss in living memory. Senior sources said Lewis plans to scrap the complicated system of rebates and penalty fees used to extract money from suppliers. He will replace it with a simple scheme based on sales volume. “If Tesco sells more of the product, the supplier will cut the price,” one insider said.
Bosses at Tui Travel, Britain’s biggest holiday company, scooped pay packages worth a total of £29m last year. Peter Long, chief executive, was the biggest earner. His pay, benefits, share awards and other bonuses totalled £13.3m in the year to September, according to the company’s annual report, which was published on Friday. That compared with the £10.4m package that he earned in the previous year. The remuneration for the deputy chief executive Johan Lundgren also soared. He earned pay and share awards totalling £8.4m, up from £5.3m a year earlier. The finance director Will Waggott earned a total package worth £6m.
Poundland listed on the stock market for £750m in the sweet spot of last spring’s float frenzy, capitalising on the City’s sudden appetite for cut-price retailers. Unlike other companies that raised cash around the same time, it has performed well since, the shares rising 8.5% to 325.5p over nine months. Having delivered in-line interim results in November, and with a long-term strategy to double store numbers in Britain to 1,000, Jim McCarthy, chief executive of Dealz’s British parent, Poundland is now turning his attention overseas.
Mail on Sunday
Administrators for City Link are facing a battle with former customers to recover cash owed, raising doubts over whether investment firm Better Capital will get back the £20million it had been hoping to recover. Better Capital boss Jon Moulton said the only significant asset the company had was cash owed by customers. 'Administrators are starting to collect that money, but some customers will argue the toss over non-delivery,' Moulton said.
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